Ministry awaiting residents’ vote to make final decision
St Cuthbert’s Mission renamingAmid concerns from a vast section of the residents of St Cuthbert’s Mission about the proposal that was made for their village to be renamed, the Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Minister has announced that the people will decide on the changing of the village’s name to Pakuri.Speaking during an interview earlier this week, the Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Minister Sydney Allicock stated that the matter was a “sensitive” one and there have been consultations with persons from the community.“This is a very sensitive issue. We have been going to and fro from the community, but it is amazing to see the division on this name change. However, we would take guidance from the majority of the people,” he said.Allicock informed that the Ministry was currently awaiting feedback from the villagers, who will indicate their decision on the renaming process.“We have already given them the opportunity to make a decision, so they’re supposed to send back their results, so we’ll take it from them when we get their decision at a meeting that they’re supposed to have already completed,” he said.When asked if the decision of the people of the community would be the final one, the Minister responded, “That is the thinking.”In September of last year, the Government had expressed its plans to rename the village during the annual Heritage Village Day. At that time, it was related by then Toshao Lennox Shuman that the original name of the village was Pakuri and hence he agreed with the renaming process.The settlement is located on the left bank of the Mahaica River and was first set up by Joseph Ferguson in the late 1800s. Ferguson went on to become the first chief of the settlement, which was named Pakuri after a species of Platonia tree which was abundant throughout the area. However, when the first Anglican missionaries arrived and founded a mission on St Cuthbert’s Day in 1889, the village was renamed.